Good (not great) breweries

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by MetalMountainMastiff, Jan 23, 2013.

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  1. dortenzio1991

    dortenzio1991 Initiate (172) Aug 12, 2011 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Brooklyn Brewery
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  2. mecummins

    mecummins Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2012 Illinois

    I agree that Domaine DuPage is a great beer (and I'm looking forward to the Long Haul and The Bitter End.) But for every great beer, they seem to have a "eh" one. Dog Days. Ebel's Weiss. Outlaw. Prairie Path. All fine beers, but not WOW beers. I
  3. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    Dude, you're talking about the middle of the curve. We can build this list until I carks fall off
  4. kylelenk

    kylelenk Initiate (0) Apr 17, 2012 Michigan

    IMHO, Bell's. They have some quality releases (Black Note/Hopslam/Expy Stout) but most of their portfolio is just decent or ok beers. Oberon's quality has diminished significantly and I'm never seeking out others.
    teal likes this.
  5. xanok

    xanok Disciple (369) Aug 13, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Say what you will, but DFH doesn't make many things that can be classified as better than "good" in my opinion. 60 minute is one of my favorite single IPAs, and I love some Fort and Bitches Brew. Outside of those though, nothing I can think of that blows my mind.
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  6. kylelenk

    kylelenk Initiate (0) Apr 17, 2012 Michigan

    I'd also like to think that breweries who don't really push the envelope or rotate their portfolio are just "good" breweries. Left Hand, for example, is really conservative with their offerings. Milk Stout is great but it seems they never try anything big and bold. When you have breweries like Firestone Walker, Three Floyds, Founders, etc. that are continually morphing their portfolio with specialty releases, I consider them to be great breweries.
  7. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,566) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Aren't most craft breweries this way?
    mjtiernan likes this.
  8. ESeab

    ESeab Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2013 New Jersey

    I always put Saranac and Long Trail together in this category. I also really enjoy their variety packs for the ease of drinking and switching styles. Solid brew, just not great
  9. BB1313

    BB1313 Poo-Bah (2,734) Jul 16, 2009 Ohio

    Yep, basically. There's only a handful of breweries I can think of that universally everyone can agree on.
  10. Gassygunslinger

    Gassygunslinger Initiate (23) Dec 20, 2012 Maine

    Because I love Raspy so much, I was extremely excited to try their Grand Cru. I was extremely disappointed. It was a yeasty mess, reminding me of my first ill-fated attempt at making alcohol. Only with the North Coast brew, I was more certain that I hadn't digested anything potentially deadly.
  11. VikingHammer

    VikingHammer Initiate (178) Oct 1, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Hill Farmstead beside the beers named after his family members, philosophy books,a dog, stuff I drink at fancy brunches and juicy! :slight_smile:
  12. Horbar

    Horbar Zealot (560) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    I would have to say Long Trail is much better than Saranac!!
  13. Bouleboubier

    Bouleboubier Poo-Bah (1,847) Dec 22, 2006 New Jersey

    Flying Fish isn't even "good"... Exit 16 is a fluke (as are some of their one-offs) and they'll sometimes (once or twice a year) have a fluke batch of one of their flagships that comes out "good".

    That said, I haven't had any of their beer since they relocated to their new location. I was (for some reason) curious to see if there would be an improvement in quality and consistency... (rant over)
  14. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Meyvn (1,253) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

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  15. Ricelikesbeer

    Ricelikesbeer Zealot (582) Nov 29, 2006 Colorado

    River North in Downtown Denver makes a lot of good beers, but nothing great. I'd say Renegade in Denver is better but has a lot of underwhelming beers for every awesome beer they have too. I think it takes an amazing brewer to really wow you with almost everything they do. (Firestone, Deschuttes, Avery, Lost Abbey, ect. )
  16. cjoc83

    cjoc83 Aspirant (282) Jul 31, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    If it's good, why is it a "fluke"? I've had Exit 16 DIPA and Exit 8 Chestnut Brown Ale both numerous times, and they've been consistent in their quality. I can't really speak to their flagship beers because I don't really buy them.
    ESeab likes this.
  17. craigo19

    craigo19 Devotee (497) Oct 12, 2009 Michigan
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I agree about Arcadia.
  18. kingofhop

    kingofhop Initiate (0) May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    Bridgeport. Available in my neck of the woods. Nothing "mindblowing" (whatever that means) but good solid beers that are priced decently and never disappoint. I thought Widmer Falconer was pretty above average too.
  19. beerwolf

    beerwolf Initiate (23) Feb 23, 2012 Washington

    Full Sail
  20. SP23

    SP23 Initiate (148) Aug 21, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    Green Flash
    Ballast Point
    Dogfish Head
    Great Divide
    Hangar 24

    Many more, all good. Just not great. I don't think I could list 10 breweries that I think are great.
  21. Chrisheartsbeer

    Chrisheartsbeer Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 North Carolina

    Shirley you must be joking!
  22. Chrisheartsbeer

    Chrisheartsbeer Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 North Carolina

    Harpoon, Flying Dog, Abita, and Heavy Seas.
  23. philly224

    philly224 Aspirant (217) Jan 30, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I am not a big fan of 60 minute but their Punkin Ale is one of my favorite beers. WWS is a pretty solid beer as well.

    I don't think there are any breweries that I like every single beer they make. That's why its great to have so many options!
    xanok likes this.
  24. eawolff99

    eawolff99 Savant (985) May 10, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Surly (x Abrasive and Wet). Otherwise, *yawn*
  25. seplo

    seplo Aspirant (271) Sep 8, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Wow, I love Smuttynose. Its definitly my favorite brewery that is always accessible here in CT. I feel like my eyes were raped seeing that comment...CHEERS
    smutty33, LOCAL and xanok like this.
  26. TheSSG

    TheSSG Champion (850) Jul 27, 2008 Illinois

    I'll give you 5Lizard from 5Rabbit (everything else is mediocre).

    I'll also second Deschutes. I used to get their stuff regularly because it NEVER disappointed, but it never blew me away. Full Sail was similar, but WOULD blow me away regularly.

    Yuengling is also in this category for me. I love the holy hell out of that amber of theirs, but they don't blow me away. I've no complaints, though.

    Also, I feel I need to counter on Two Brothers.
    Cane & Ebel, Revelry, Heavy Handed, Bitter End, Ebel Weiss, Prairie Path, Northwind, and most of their bombers are FANTASTIC (Red Eye Coffee Porter alone is GOLD).
    Did you ever try their "Public Domaine DuPage"? It was a lambic-styled Domaine DuPage.
    Soooo good.
  27. RoninTK3

    RoninTK3 Aspirant (234) Nov 12, 2012 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Sam Adams, Harpoon, Boulder, and Flying Dog come to mind. I'd place smuttynose and longtrail above being just good, but to each his own.
  28. JuicesFlowing

    JuicesFlowing Poo-Bah (2,146) Jul 5, 2009 Kansas

    I agree. I get the idea that everyone rates every beer they drink "average" yet they keep drinking them. Not happy with anything.
  29. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Defender (606) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Goose Island
  30. RobertColianni

    RobertColianni Zealot (528) Nov 4, 2008 Pennsylvania

    They shouldn't even be considered breweries as they all suck.
    If you think Dark Intrigue is amazing, we need to have a talk. You're right, though, Victory is solid, but they're questionable. I don't think they push the envelope at all on their normal/seasonal/special releases, but some of those kegs I see floating around Philly with their experimental beers are fan-fucking-tastic.

    My vote goes to Stone. Jump down my throat all you want; many of their beers are just a one off on another so everything is basically the same. Their IPA's are all basically like Ruination, their stouts are all like their RIS, but with a spin, and their anniversary ales are basically black and tan mixes every year. They flop on big moves, too. They don't knock anything out of the park.
    I would also like to put a vote in for Dogfish Head, as their bomber series has hit absolute rock bottom. They have more shit flooding the market that I personally don't give two shits about than they have quality releases. Plus, they're losing focus on their once great beers like Chicory Stout and Indian Brown. Palo Santo is still great, 90 is a solid staple, and Raison hits the spot fresh, but we barely see them anymore now that this bomber/experimental flood has continued and newly interested drinkers probably don't even know what any of those beers are.
    Rogue also takes a royal dump on the beer scene, these days. It's like when Metallica tried to come back in '03, Green Day released American Idiot, Pearl Jam went political, Dylan started mumbling in the 90's, or Bowie stopped doing drugs and dressing like a chick. Just shut up and ride into the sunset, already. We don't want beard hair or (Moby) Dick in our beer.
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  31. jcomp21

    jcomp21 Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2012 California

    Dogfish head????? What are you talking about? They are simply amazing.
    dbfp210 likes this.
  32. Moose90

    Moose90 Meyvn (1,455) Nov 25, 2012 Washington
    Beer Trader

    New Belgium
  33. Bertester

    Bertester Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2013

    DFH seems to have the edge w marketing, thus becoming the more familiar craft beer, not necessarily the best/great craft beer.
    RobertColianni likes this.
  34. dbfp210

    dbfp210 Initiate (0) Jun 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I think 'good' breweries for me are local places that I don't actively seek out but I'm always okay with drinking. Yards (maybe my favorite brewery), Stoudts, PBC definitely.
    cjoc83 likes this.
  35. drewone

    drewone Meyvn (1,281) Sep 18, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    I hear you but I thought zz hop was pretty phenomenal
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  36. hopsputin

    hopsputin Meyvn (1,263) Apr 1, 2012 New Jersey

    gotta go with New Belgium
  37. GardenWaters

    GardenWaters Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2012 Illinois

    Samuel Adams. Many very "good" beers, very few "great" beers.
  38. mdvatab

    mdvatab Zealot (574) Apr 5, 2006 Indiana

    If you ever get to try fresh Widmer Hefeweizen on draught (don't know how hard that is to do where you live), you might change your mind. I thought it was wonderful fresh. The American ale yeast creates a significantly different flavor compared to a Bavarian Hefeweizen. If that's not your thing, tho, a man's more than welcome to his opinion!
  39. BigStein88

    BigStein88 Disciple (316) Nov 5, 2007 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    I'm a simple man, if a brewery makes one great beer that I really like, then I am a happy man. Therefore Smuttynose, Dogfish Head and Stone are all great to me.
  40. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,382) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    They brought back an ale yeast from Germany. Uerige.
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